Head’s Blog 15th June Friday 15th June 2018

At school it has perhaps been the quietest week of the year as many year groups have gone out and done trips. We’ve had daily updates from Paris, where Year 7 are having “une semaine magnifique”, Year 8 in Wales, one so busy they’ve hardly sent me photos at all! Certainly when they get back and discover their incredible Common Entrance results they will be jumping for joy, as indeed are we and we congratulate perhaps the most successful Year 8 yet on their spectacular A* heavy results.

Of course the pupils don’t get these results without very hard work and effective learning techniques, support from home and of course outstanding teaching. I’m delighted by what has been achieved and congratulate my colleagues.

For me, highlights this week have been seeing Year 2 and Year 3 scurrying about collaboratively, looking for clues in their treasure hunt, getting incredible feedback from the trainers in Legoland robotics about how advanced and well mannered our digital leaders were, enjoying some pretty good singing at the community choir rehearsal, as well as polished performances in the Performance Platform in Pre-Prep this morning, it’s always fund to see the children in the audience responding to the rhythm by bobbing up and down appreciatively.  The children all did well.  I also enjoyed receiving day by day excellent CE results for our Year 8.

Staff News

I’m pleased to introduce you to four more members of staff who will be joining us in September.

Hélène Lacroix, French and Latin






Hélène is a native French speaker who grew up in the centre of France. She moved to the UK three years ago, after having completed a degree in English and French literature at the Paris-Sorbonne University. She started her teaching career at Sevenoaks School where she taught French to all year groups and to bilingual students. She particularly enjoyed teaching lower school students and is very excited to be joining St Michael’s Prep School in September.

Interested in youth literature, Hélène has worked in a bookstore specialising in this field in Paris and has completed several internships, including one in Chichester library, helping with the ‘Summer Reading Challenge’. She also enjoys playing the piano, travelling and loves walking and cycling around the beautiful Kent countryside

Daniel Orpin, Year 4 Teacher






Daniel has been teaching in primary schools for six years and is looking forward to the opportunity of moving to St. Michael’s. Having gained a degree in French and Politics from Lancaster University he went to the Royal Military Sandhurst and served with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. He left as a Captain, having served with the field army and training recruits. His experience training recruits later became the inspiration for the move to teaching. After the Army he worked in London in Human Resources in the banking sector. As a lover of the great outdoors this caused some problems! Eventually, fed up working in an office tower where he could not even open a window, he decided to retrain and make teaching his full-time career.
Daniel has been responsible for subject leadership in French and Computing, adventurous activity trips and for reinvigorating P.E. teaching and extracurricular clubs. He enjoys all things outdoors; from running and camping to horticulture. In recent years he has had to concede some activity time to the touch line, watching his own boys, who manage to fill his weekends with their own sporting activities.

Catherine MacIntosh, Year 3 Teacher






Catherine Macintosh has been a teacher for over fourteen years, and has a particular specialism in English, having been an English teacher in a boys’ grammar school and Head of English at a small Prep school in Kent.

She grew up in the beautiful Sussex countryside, but subsequently moved to Italy for two years, where she began her teaching career as a teacher of English as a foreign language. During this time she also indulged her love of the English language and its literature, gaining a First Class degree with the Open University in Literature. This quickly led to a PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University College, and her following teaching positions in a grammar school and a Kent Prep school, both of which served to make her realise that there really could be no better job than teaching! Upon relocating to the Kent/Surrey border she has worked at two other London Prep schools, teaching the whole range of curriculum subjects.

She has two children (Y1 and Y4), who will also be joining St Michael’s in September. She continues to take a keen interest in Italian culture and language, and is always keen to try something new. She has recently taken up skiing, scuba diving and racket ball. She is delighted to be joining St Michael’s as a Year 3 Teacher.

Vikki Pinnock, TA in Prep

Vikki worked for 16 years in the city for an insurance company. Taking a complete career change, she joined St Michael’s as receptionist in March 2017. Throughout her time here she has loved getting to know the children and has now decided to pursue her career in working with children within the classroom. Vikki has accepted a job as a Teaching Assistant here at St Michael’s, which she is very excited about.

Vikki has gained most of her experience from her three children (aged 11, 8 and 3), who always keep her on her toes, however, she is looking forward to immersing herself in classroom life and training as a qualified TA.

We are delighted to see this new direction in Vikki’s career.


Have a great weekend.

Jill Aisher

Latest News




Sunsets and sizzling sausages set the tone for the new term last Friday as Year 7 pupils celebrated the start of their senior education journey.

The annual event, traditionally held as a Camp Out, was delivered as a fun-filled barbecue night which the children enjoyed with teachers including St Michael’s Acting Head, Mrs Bridges.

Throughout the evening pupils tucked into dinner cooked by Deputy Head Mr Wiseman, and toasted marshmallows on an open fire.

And to make use of their new term energy, games and group bonding activites were carried out, followed by a walk up the school’s famous Warren where the sunset was relished in all of its glory.

Reflecting on the sucess of the event, Head of Year 7 and 8, Mrs Shield, said: “Unfortunately, we were unable to camp this year, but that did not dampen anybody’s spirits.

“One of the highlights of the evening was our twilight walk to the top of the Warren where we marvelled at the beautiful site that our school occupies.

“We viewed the bats swirling the skies in the dusk of late summer and ended the evening with a well-deserved hot chocolate – not forgetting the squirty cream and yet more marshmallows.

“Life-long friendships were made and re-established after the long summer break.”

This month St Michael’s Prep is celebrating the opening of its new Astro Turf pitch.

Completed during Summer 2020, the state-of-the-art facility will provide a huge boost to the school’s sporting facilities and allow it to offer a broader range of activities including boys hockey and football to its pupils.

Its floodlights will also enable St Michael’s to host sports matches during evenings, as well as inviting external schools and clubs to enjoy the new pitch throughout the year.

Ben Bridges, Director of Sports at St Michael’s, said: “We’re really excited to use the Astro Turf for the first time this month.

“We feel extremely lucky to be able to offer this to our pupils in both Prep and Pre-prep and are thrilled about the benefits it will bring to our sporting curriculum.

“As well as hockey, the new pitch will allow us to offer many other sports to pupils and will prevent the children from missing lessons due to inclement weather.”

Planning for the Astro Turf began in 2014 and has seen St Michael’s grounds undergo a significant transformation since construction began last summer. During this time pupils were fascinated by the diggers, dumpers and bulldozers which visited the school, while nursery and kindergarten children were treated to close-up views of the machinery.

Mr Bridges added: “Although it was a slightly delayed start due to the poor weather we faced, this feels like the perfect time to put the incredible space to good use.

“This is really going to move sport at St Michael’s to the next level, as well as providing us with opportunities to engage with the local community. We’re excited all round.”


The Governors of St. Michael’s Prep School take pleasure in announcing the appointment of Nik Pears as our new Head Teacher with effect from January 2021.

Nik was educated at St Dunstan’s College, London and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He is currently Head of Prep at Kent College Pembury, a post he has held since 2016. Prior to that, he was Headmaster of the Junior School at Sevenoaks Prep for 5 years. Nik is also an ISI inspector and a governor at Dulwich Prep, Cranbrook. We believe that he has the experience and qualities required to lead St Michael’s into the next chapter of its history.

Nik represented Kent U18 group at rugby and has a love of all sports. He is an accomplished musician and has performed at The O2 and Wembley Arenas. He is an Ambassador for “We See Hope”, a charity working with orphans and vulnerable young people in sub Saharan Africa. Nik devised The Social Entrepreneurs Project an initiative that challenges young people to turn £10 seed capital into £100 or more with their profits going to support the work of the charity.

We feel very fortunate to have secured Nik’s headship and welcome him and his wife Emma and two children, Jessica and Josiah into the St. Michael’s family from the start of next year. Nik has said

“I am delighted to have been appointed the next Head of St Michael’s Prep. Having lived in the area for the past twenty years, it is a school I have known and long admired for its ambitious and child-centred approach to learning. There is a very special atmosphere in the school and I am excited to become a part of the community, getting to know the children, parents and staff over the months and years ahead. St Michael’s is privileged to have an experienced and committed Senior Leadership Team and I very much look forward to working together with them as we embark on an exciting future for the school.” 

Some of our super St Michael’s Swimmers have won an array of silverware at recent events.

At the Sevenoaks Swimming Club presentation evening, I Pennington Legh was presented with the Kingsbury Cup for U10 girls; A Green was awarded the Kingsbury Cup for U10 boys; E Green received runner up plate for the best U9 boy; S. Taylor was awarded the Mike Radford Trophy for most improved U9 boy; A Ashton was presented with the U9 Individual Medley Cup and U9 trophy for most improved swimmer; B Tovey and J Taylor were both awarded plaques with their positions from the recent Sevenoaks Club Championships.

At the Black Lion Gala, Gillingham, at the start of March our swimmers again came away with medals. A Ashton won three gold, one bronze, one fourth and one sixth medal; A Green three gold and two silver medals; E Green four silver and one bronze medal; S Taylor one silver and one fourth medal and J Taylor a fourth position medal. V Medlen also came away with a medal from the gala.

Well done to all those swimmers; your hard work and dedication is certainly paying off!

Mrs Denton

Swim School Manager

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